Update photos from Rob Lemay

Started by jraabe, March 16, 2007, 08:16:27 PM

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Rob's 16' wide rustic cabin has some new photos of the upstairs loft and bedroom.


This is an update of the Gallery page.


I really love the wood interior walls.  :)  Does anyone what finish was used?  :-?


QuoteI really love the wood interior walls.  :)  Does anyone what finish was used?  :-?

It looks unfinished to me,  as in no sealer or finish , just a guess.

Looks pretty good , kinda small deer to be have mounted.

I like the outside look as well.

Nice job 8-) All in all.  


QuoteIt looks unfinished to me,  as in no sealer or finish , just a guess.  
Yeah, it really looks like raw wood, but it'll get less pretty if left that way. That's the look I want in my yet to be built cabin. I'm probably going to use one of the newer non-yellowing clear finishes, but haven't done any homework on them yet. I was hoping for an easy answer? Of course maybe you have some opinions on that (for interior use). Definitely not glossy; prefer satin matte finish. Glossy on natural wood looks like plastic. Why bother?

I think Deft may have something?

My exterior will likely be Hardi-plank or board; not sure yet.


 This stuff will go on milkie sorta but dry's clear comes in  Satin , Gloss etc .

Info :

CrystalFin Acrylic Polyurethane   [Specs]  [MSDS]  

Polyurethane/acrylic clear finish is a clear water-based coating that is brushable, fast drying, non-toxic, non-yellowing and highly protective. Modern technology renders this finish extremely resistant to marring, scuffing, alcohol, boiling water, and most household cleaners, CrystalFin is ideal for all interior wood surfaces, especially for low odor requirements and easy clean-up. Four gloss levels: Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin and Matte. Film properties and dry times can be improved even further with the optional addition of Daly's Crosslinker.

Buy this product online >>
Key Benefits
Interior woodwork and furniture
Low odor requirements
Water-based technology

Link : http://www.dalyspaint.com/catalog_conditioners.html

 Good finish , easy to apply , I use it a lot generally over stain as it is to clear for most folks , if I want a "natural"  finish  I use this stuff it has a lil yellow tint to it , most people think that's more "natural" as they are used to looking at laquer finish's that they see in the store .



  Super Spar Varnish Price: $0.00  
SeaFin SuperSpar with UVA offers excellent protection from exterior elements such as salt air, sun, and water. Is designed for marine and exterior surfaces.

Size:  Gallon ( price +$61.50)Quart ( price +$19.35)Pint ( price +$12.75)


Dalys SeaFin SuperSpar Varnish is designed for marine and exterior surfaces such as boats, patio furniture, doors or surfaces where a clear gloss finish is desired. SeaFin SuperSpar with UVA (Ultraviolet Light Absorber) offers excellent protection from exterior elements such as salt air, sun, and water. SeaFin Super Spar is also resistant to boiling water, hot lubricating oils, caustic soda, ammonia and sulfuric acid..

Link: http://gallery.bcentral.com/GID4572814P2849526-SeaFin-Marine-Products/Super-Spar-Varnish.aspx

I agree Satin is the best looking finish Gloss is to plasticy lookin for me as well.


Looks nice.  I like the gloss - it's the nearest color that matches the top of my head. :-/


QuoteLooks nice.  I like the gloss - it's the nearest color that matches the top of my head. :-/
What is one more solar panel when you have so many already? Keeps the brain cells charged.


Good Morning, All

Since John posted the cabin to the site, I figured I should probably register.(finally)  Thanks for the compliments on the cabin.  Those of you that have undertook a project like this, you know the work involved.  Those of you that intend to, plan on a full summer of nights and weekends.  It's really a rewarding experience that tests your wits, patience, ability and endurance.  
Well, I've had a few questions that I need to answer.
As far as the three doors downstairs: The door underneath the stairs is a storage closet that L's to the foot of the staircase where I hid my 20gal electric water heater.  The middle door accesses the bathroom which houses a porcelain pedestal sink, standup shower and toilet.  The 3rd door next to the front main door is a coat closet which also serves as a hidden location for my 100amp, 20space service pannel.
As most of you can see, I have a lot of work to do this summer.  We set a goal to make it liveable by October 2006.  Yes, I sat and stared at the unfinished trim, molding, flooring and unstained walls for the winter, but the madness had to stop for a few months.  It bothered me the first couple weekends, but I got used to it in a hurry.  Yes, the walls are presently unstained, but this will be done by April's end.  I want to keep them as natural as possible because it's present state really has a beautiful, warm feel.  We stoke up the fireplace and the boards just warm right up.  Tongue & groove wood definately has an unsulating factor.  Those of you that are considering paneling over real wood, STOP NOW!  We also thought it would be a good, money saving option.  WRONG!  We purchased 30-some panels, finished one wall, stood back, looked at it, looked at eachother and simutaneously said, MISTAKE.  It cost us money and a weekend of work to cover it all up.  Listen, it's a one shot deal and you have to look at it for a long time.  Do it right and spend the extra 500 to 1000 bucks.   Cutting the paneling around trim and outlets is a real pain.  It nearly cost me the end of my finger in the heat of frustration while manuevering a cordless skill saw.  Rule of thump: Frustration + Fatigue = stupid accidents.  Thank god for good emergency room surgeons.  I lost the feeling in the end of the finger, but I'm still playing my guitar.  Fortunately, that was our only medicaly incident during the project.
Oh, the buck on the wall was my first.  Otherwise it would not be mounted.  There's a sentimental value that makes it look about twice the size.  Hunted 11 hard years before I even saw an antler in the woods.

Please contact me if you have any other questions.

Take care

Rob Lemay 8-)



Love your cabin.  If you had to do it again, would you still do the Fiber Brace sheathing?




Thank you.

Without a doubt!  The fiberbrace itself wouldn't cut it on its own, so I wouldn't put it up, cover it with vinyl and call it a day.  It does add a blend of strength while serving as an additional source of insulation.  I spoke with a contractor in regards to this and he said they install steel bracing for added strength when using this material.  For this reason I opted to use primed, exterior wall sheathing in addition to the fiberbrace.  This with the R19 insulation inside made for a comfortable cabin in below zero to single digit Michigan temps this winter.  


Nice to be in a place like that when it's so cold outside.   :)


Thank you, John for providing a priceless tool for new builders!  Your website is fantastic!  You've done a lifetime of good deeds in publishing this site.

Thank you!


Hey Rob, I was thinking you were already here but I guess John posted the first pix and I just thought you were here from looking at your work.   :-/  Glad you showed up here in person. It's great to be able to follow and learn from all of these projects.  Anyway - welcome to the forum. :)


It really looks warm & inviting - you've done a nice job!  


More pictures!


sunset from west side of cabin.


View of the east side.


Julie has equal amount of time in this thing as I do.  She's turned into a closet carpenter.


I want to point out something Rob and Julie have done that others might consider as well.

They have used structural exterior siding panels and then trimmed them out with cedar siding at the bottom and gable ends.

This is sometimes called single wall siding and a common name for the plywood panels is T1-11 (which has groves at 4" o/c if I remember right).

In most of my plans I show double wall framing: structural sheathing (1/2" nominal plywood or OSB), then building paper, and finally non-structural siding. This builds a very strong and watertight wall. However, you can save money by building with structural wall panels that can be attached directly to the studs. Rob has used non-structural sheathing under his plywood siding but this is not needed for structural strength.

The main problem is that T1-11 often looks cheap, tacky and boring. The kind of siding they build storage units out of.

The thing I like about what was done on this cabin is they dressed up the rather plain looks of the plywood with horizontal cedar as a "belly band" all around the house. When combined with matching cedar siding on the gable ends it looks quite handsome.

Nifty idea.  :)

PS - You can also put up T1-11 and then later do siding or shingles for part or all of the exterior.


Thanks, John.

Another consideration for the "belly band" (2' of cedar around the bottom of the cabin) was providing for the 10' walls.  Going with 10' walls gave us 2' extra for the upstairs loft without having to compromise ceiling height downstairs.  By doing so, we're designing outside the norm in regards to exterior T1-11.  Standard size is, of course, 4'x8'.  Could have special ordered 10' lengths, but they're almost double the price and we're right back to what john discussed previously, it wouldn't have looked as nice.  Going with 8' lengths without the cedar on the bottom would have left us with an obvious seam at the top or bottom.  There are few different remedies for this and we chose the cedar.  One could also consider brick, stone or even log.  If anyone is considering the primed T1-11, please remember that it is only primed for painting and it is not treated in any way.  As we did, you have to plan on painting this as soon as possible after installation.


 Well for a first deer it's pretty nice  :) MTL weighed more than my biggest black tail , I assume it's a white tail , yours that is.

On that single wall const. when we do that we paper over the studs , or at least we try to remember to  :( ::), with Typar then put the T1-11 on.

  John it come's in either   , blanks (no grooves) , 4"OC , and 8 "oc grooves.  Generally in 5/8" thickness when used as sheathing / siding. It comes in 3/8" as well IIRC.  With the blanks you could add 1x2 battens to give it a Brd & bat look. There are lots of way to spruce it up like Rob & Julie did, BTW she's best lookin "carpenter" I've ever seen ;)    


Hi, Everyone

I've been getting quite a few questions in regards to the cost of the cabin, so I've attached a response to my last.

Well, we estimated an initial figure of 8 to 10k, but we made a few upgrades along the way that brought it up to around $15,000.  Extra's included, but are not limited to, fieldstone behind the fireplace, laminate hardwood flooring, tongue and groove pine interior walls and exterior cedar siding.  
The $15,000 is a complete price including appliances, shower, toilet and electrical.  We did do everything ourself which saved us quite a bit of money.  
Ceiling height downstairs is 7' 6" and the height in the loft at center is pretty close to the same.  I'm 6'3" and I walk upstairs with room to spare.  This was important to us because we didn't want a traditional type loft that required you to hunch down when you're upstairs.
I'd have to tell you, the size we went with (24' x 16') is perfect for our needs.  It's amazing how you can strategically use the space to it's full potential.  We have 2 girls age 9 & 12 and they share the back bedroom upstairs with room to spare.  They go up there and play games and make noise while we're down stairs relaxing.  The separation is there whenever someone wants to get away.  
As you can see, we built an island bar/table between the kitchen and living room.  This eliminated the need for a kitchen table and saved us a bunch of space to cozy up the living room.  
If you're going with a fireplace, check ebay.  Weirdly enough I found that thing on Ebay and won the auction for $50.00.  Yes, that's our $50.00 woodstove.  It heated the cabin all winter just beautifully.
Watch your sales flyers for Home Depot, Menards, Lowes or whereever you shop.  If you play the sales strategically and phase out your projects, you can save a considerable amount of money.  Chances are, whatever material you need, it will be going on sale this summer.

Oh, one more thing for bragging rights.  Attached a picture of a little pike I Caught on New Years Day in front of the Cabin.

See ya all.


Thanks for posting the info, Rob --and --nice fish.


Rob.....love your cabin, it has inspired me to can my idea of buying a travel trailer to get by for a few years.....I am pumped and ready to start building....but I have a question......what did you use for paneling inside.....it looks like pine but is it tung and groove or just simple 1 by?????
Call me......Crazy Ozark American
because being called a "Hillbilly" is offensive


I am wondering about the shelf that appears to be on the long walls.  This did not appear to be present in the framing process.  Did you build a double lower level wall?  I am confused by the picture.